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Yolanda Putman

Stories by Yolanda

The hum of an orbital sander resonated Thursday in an old gym in the Westside community that had not been used in 30 years.

The pastor who founded the city's only credit union made of mostly members from black churches is recommending that the credit union merge with the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union.

The football stadium at Howard School is so deteriorated that raw sewage tends to bubble up near the restrooms.

Alton Park residents have been asking for a recreational facility since at least 2002 when their old recreation center closed.

Being a school patrol officer is not for the faint of heart.

Lincoln Park looked and sounded like the old days Saturday, with rhythm and blues playing over the park, the Howard band performing on the ball field and fire blazing from a hot dog grill.

Nobody is going to top the 2012 United Way campaign kickoff that featured the Howard School marching band. That campaign is going down in the record books, 2013 campaign Chairman Tom Decosimo said Thursday.

The Chattanooga Community Kitchen became owner of three homes that it plans to fill with homeless people by mid-October.

The 50 years since the March on Washington have reshaped the economic landscape of America — for everyone.

After a week of controversy over Ridgedale Church of Christ's stance that a family should confess sin and repent for supporting a lesbian daughter, its pastor's Sunday sermon focused on the obligations of faith.

Rosie Hart Russell and Belinda Sears Smith remember when Eastdale was a place where families helped to raise each other's children and kids made sure they were home before the streetlights came on.

Lookout Mountain is forever memorialized in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered to more than 200,000 people at the historic March on Washington in April 1963.

Four months after the city's gang task force was disbanded, its former coordinator, Boyd Patterson, is still going to gang conferences and seeking to help fight gangs.

Standing on tired grass growing between cracks in a Lincoln Park tennis court, 85-year-old Elijah Sanders listened Friday as Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke promised that the land under his feet would once again belong to the community.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke this morning announced plans to work with Erlanger Health System to preserve five acres of land the hospital owns in Lincoln Park that could be used as green space and historic park for the community.

The YMCA wants to operate a group home for men who need social services and is asking the Chattanooga Housing Authority to help pay for it.

Local minister and former Chattanooga Councilman John Taylor couldn't round up enough folks to charter a bus to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, but he said he's going anyway because he doesn't want to miss a historic moment.

Seventy-five-year-old Verniece Hughley can recall how Lincoln Park covered acres of land near Erlanger hospital and was the site of Negro league baseball games featuring players like Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson.

Jackie Moore gripped the handle of a classroom door at Hardy Elementary School, bowed her head and asked God to make safe the children who study in that room and in rooms throughout the school. And to help them learn.

Deoaunte Dean was among more than a half-dozen young adults squeezed on chairs and a couch at Skip Eberhardt's Doris Street home. They came to learn academic skills needed to pass the GED test before the test changes in January 2014.

The nonprofit that touts itself as the biggest, baddest, boldest civil rights organization in the country had so little participation in its Chattanooga-Hamilton County branch that former President James Mapp had to take the head position again this year at age 85 because no one else wanted the job.

Three weeks after a wrong-way driver killed a leader in Chattanooga’s autism community, the suspect is still at large.

Dr. Elenora Woods saw a need and tried to fill it.

A 30-foot-tall, 50-foot-wide mural depicting the passing on of faith and wisdom from one generation to the other is the latest project the Glass House Collective is using to unify and raise up the Glass Street community.

It was a moment to savor.

Homeless people say they have no choice but to sleep or rest on public sidewalks and in the doorways of vacant stores: There aren’t enough shelter beds for them. They have been banned from homeless camps located in hard-to-see places such as a hillside near U.S. Highway 27 and along the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks. They have no place else to go.

More than 700 teenagers came to the Alton Park Development Corp. seeking jobs this summer. A local dentist and mom helped 146 of them find work.

Less than a year after finishing a 15-year prison sentence for robbery, 35-year-old Charmane Goins got married, had a baby and landed a job as owner and operator of the Bethlehem Bistro. The restaurant was ranked fifth among more than 500 restaurants on

A UTC basketball Hall of Famer and SoCon Player of the Year saw younger girls in the sport who lacked encouragement and guidance. And she wants to help.

A bouquet of lifelike flowers, colorful block toys and a photo of Cynthia Wild Joyner decorated a table at the Chattanooga Autism Center on Monday.

Meals On Wheels has delivered weekday and weekend meals to low-income elderly residents for more than a decade, but this year weekend meals have been eliminated and the number of seniors receiving meals this month compared to those served in December has been cut by more than 200 people.

NAACP leaders called for less talking and more NAACP memberships Tuesday when they met with pastors, community leaders and organizational representatives concerning George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

We may be soggy, but we're breathing easier.

William Ward is trying to care for children who age out of foster care, but he needs more places to house them.

Look them in the eye. That's the advice to local teachers from renowned educator Ron Clark

Soaking rains over the weekend pushed the Tennessee River up to flood stage, and TVA's water managers are spilling as much water through dams as safely as they can, with a keen eye toward Thursday when more rain is expected.

All 37 students in Ron Clark's Harlem classroom tested below grade level. All of them had discipline problems.

Dorothy Cooper had no desire to start a fight.

A year after launching a rapid rehousing program, local housing officials say it's working and they are offering 10 more apartments to house the homeless.

Dr. Rozario Slack dropped a jigsaw puzzle on the table and told the eight men sitting around it to put it together.

Local civil rights leaders said Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court acted prematurely by overturning part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and they called on Congress to keep the law intact.

Child support payments have become so impossible for some parents that they cannot pay, even if they want to, Tennessee state Rep. JoAnne Favors said.

Five parties have expressed interest in buying the vacant Harriet Tubman public housing site, but it still could be months before the Chattanooga Housing Authority receives a firm offer, said Naveed Minhas, the agency's vice president of development.

Lincoln Park residents will document their vision for their community, and they have college students from three universities and members of Chattanooga Organized for Action helping them.

LaDonald Bryant's roof leaked so badly that it caved in, letting water and dirt stream into his bedroom. Almost nothing was salvageable — bed, cloths and furniture all destroyed.

Walking into Uncle Larry's Restaurant is like walking into an air-conditioned family fish fry.

Not all men leave their families, and those who stay should be celebrated, Charlotte S. Willams says.

Residents from the largest high-rise in Chattanooga public housing say it's been at least a decade since they've had a fire drill and they worry that the tragedy that befell Patten Towers could happen to them.

Chandra Brown, wife of NFL football player Tony Brown, plans to show more than two dozen inner-city girls that they are royalty.

Former Atlanta police chief Eldrin Bell looked Thursday into the eyes of more than a dozen local men and one woman enrolled in Hope for the Inner City's Jobs For Life program. The group included gang members, adults who quit high school and men with arrest records.

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